A sharp, rainbow-colored tale that’s sure to entertain and teach young readers.


This debut middle-grade fantasy novel finds three children drawn into a magical quest to find other kids who went missing decades ago.

Ten-year-old Chelzy Stone, her parents, and her 12-year-old brother, Matthew, moved to Simonsville, Pennsylvania, a year ago. As summer approaches, she and Matthew are ready to enjoy their vacation from school. Matthew plans to read comics and play video games, and Chelzy hopes to explore the group of trees—or “Magic Woods,” as Grandpa Stone calls them—behind their home on Sycamore Street. One day, she glimpses what looks like a black-cloaked woman in flight near the trees, and it naturally stokes her imagination. She’s also excited to meet her new neighbor, a shy 11-year-old girl named Tory Herold. The new girl introduces the siblings to an old board game called The Lost and Found Game, which her Uncle Tony gave her. Eerily, the game’s cards feature pictures of black dust and a scrap of black cloth, which match real-life objects that Chelzy and Matthew recently found outside. Later, Grandpa Stone tells the kids about three Sycamore Street children who went missing in 1982, supposedly carried off into the woods by black birds. Do Chelzy, Matthew, and Tory dare investigate the Magic Woods themselves? After all, The Lost and Found Game ends with a challenge involving a Dark Queen. Procopio’s debut blends the dazzling splendor of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland with structured magic that’s reminiscent of that in the Harry Potter series. It’s the colorful parade of characters that steals the show, however, including the Bright Queen and Melzabod, a blue unicorn who guides the kids through such areas as the Sea of Weeping Willows. Indeed, animal helpers abound, making it tough for “The Trio,” as the third-person narrator calls them, to err too badly. However, the author eventually adds a plot twist that forces Chelzy and company to rely on their own skills. She also adds real-life nature facts, including an explanation of the difference between evergreen and deciduous trees. A warm, thoughtful ending leads toward a sequel.

A sharp, rainbow-colored tale that’s sure to entertain and teach young readers.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9860607-0-0

Page Count: 262

Publisher: RoseLamp Publications

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of...


Lifelong, conflicted friendship of two women is the premise of Hannah’s maudlin latest (Magic Hour, 2006, etc.), again set in Washington State.

Tallulah “Tully” Hart, father unknown, is the daughter of a hippie, Cloud, who makes only intermittent appearances in her life. Tully takes refuge with the family of her “best friend forever,” Kate Mularkey, who compares herself unfavorably with Tully, in regards to looks and charisma. In college, “TullyandKate” pledge the same sorority and major in communications. Tully has a life goal for them both: They will become network TV anchorwomen. Tully lands an internship at KCPO-TV in Seattle and finagles a producing job for Kate. Kate no longer wishes to follow Tully into broadcasting and is more drawn to fiction writing, but she hesitates to tell her overbearing friend. Meanwhile a love triangle blooms at KCPO: Hard-bitten, irresistibly handsome, former war correspondent Johnny is clearly smitten with Tully. Expecting rejection, Kate keeps her infatuation with Johnny secret. When Tully lands a reporting job with a Today-like show, her career shifts into hyperdrive. Johnny and Kate had started an affair once Tully moved to Manhattan, and when Kate gets pregnant with daughter Marah, they marry. Kate is content as a stay-at-home mom, but frets about being Johnny’s second choice and about her unrealized writing ambitions. Tully becomes Seattle’s answer to Oprah. She hires Johnny, which spells riches for him and Kate. But Kate’s buttons are fully depressed by pitched battles over slutwear and curfews with teenaged Marah, who idolizes her godmother Tully. In an improbable twist, Tully invites Kate and Marah to resolve their differences on her show, only to blindside Kate by accusing her, on live TV, of overprotecting Marah. The BFFs are sundered. Tully’s latest attempt to salvage Cloud fails: The incorrigible, now geriatric hippie absconds once more. Just as Kate develops a spine, she’s given some devastating news. Will the friends reconcile before it’s too late?

Dated sermonizing on career versus motherhood, and conflict driven by characters’ willed helplessness, sap this tale of poignancy.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-312-36408-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2007

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